Luhnow On Appel, Bullpen, Shifts

AstrosGM Jeff Luhnow discusses a variety of topics in a recent interview with FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:

  • The Astros recently removed top overall 2013 draft pick Mark Appel from the rotation in Class A+ Lancaster due to the pitcher’s struggles to adjust to the Astros’ tandem rotation system. Appel also missed part of spring training with an appendectomy. “I don’t expect this to be more than a couple of weeks,” says Luhnow. “Really, it’s just to make up for spring training. It’s my fault for sending him to Lancaster. … I realized that he just didn’t have a proper spring training.”
  • Luhnow says he isn’t yet worried about the Astros’ bullpen, Rosenthal reports. “I do think with the quality of arms we have out there — [Chad] Qualls, [Matt] Albers, (Josh) Fields and potentially [Jesse] Crain, when he comes back — we do have an improved bullpen,” says Luhnow. The Astros’ relievers have struggled this year despite the additions of Qualls, Albers, Crain and Jerome Williams.
  • The Astros are not using defensive shifts only to get information they might be able to use later, Luhnow says. “[A]re we doing things just to learn? No. … We believe we’€™re going to get more outs that way,” he says.
  • Luhnow says he has no problem with manager Bo Porter’s fiery personality.

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